In Section 1, noted South Bend reel historian Jim Madden gives us the background of the South Bend ABL, chronicles the first South Bend Reel Box, the rare 1131T Tournament Reel, the 1131 Printer’s Block, and opines on the legendary “Mystery Reel” 1131 and its possible manufacturer.
In Section II, esteemed fishing reel researcher Leonard P. Sawisch gives us his Industrial Archaeological History of the South Bend ABL, with a detailed history, technical descriptions and classifications (including photos of each known variation and its details), and notes and appendices including a 1131 Variations, Identified ABL Reels, and an early production time line.
In Section III, Dr. Todd E.A. Larson offers up a detailed analysis of how the South Bend ABL was marketed and advertised, from its introduction in 1911 through the transition to the 1131A in 1913, through its heyday in the 1910s to its replacement at the top of the South Bend reel family in 1920, to its long slow descent to obsolescence in the 1920s.
In Section IV, there are addendums including Robert A. Miller & Jim Madden’s analysis of the Pflueger-South Bend lawsuit over the words “Anti-Back-Lash,” a history of the South Bend acquisition of the ABL patents by Ed Corwin, and a great photo gallery showing rare South Bend 1131 ABL reels, ranging from the first model to the Tournament 1131T to a cut-away demonstrator.